2021 Annual Conference: leveling up with new platforms

banner of WLIA conference platforms

The WLIA Annual Conference Committee is in the midst of planning our third virtual gathering of the year. We’re building off of the many successes of our two previous virtual meetings and are excited to be adding a few platforms to the mix to make your conference experience downright magical.

In choosing platforms to stream content, host our virtual Exhibit Hall, and to help with event management we prioritized ease of use, compatibility (between platforms), and a reasonable price. The Annual Conference Committee and the WLIA Board of Directors are confident that we struck a good balance of the three! Major props to the Exhibitors & Sponsorship Team and the Logistics Team for their thorough job of reviewing platform options and providing their recommendations.

Zoom

We’ll be sticking with Zoom to bring you the keynotes, workshops, and breakout sessions. Attendees and organizers of the Fall Virtual Meeting responded positively to the platform and we also expect that most people are comfortable using Zoom at this point in our highly virtualized world.

Eventsquid

Eventsquid will be our event management platform. If you are currently registered for the 2021 annual conference (look at you, early bird!), you’ve already encountered Eventsquid. While its name origin is currently unknown*, we do know that Eventsquid provides a slick and easy-to-navigate interface for both our event organizers and conference attendees.

The Virtual Event Organizer on Eventsquid is tailored specifically to you, whether you are a keynote speaker, exhibitor, or regular attendee. The agenda page contains all of the major conference events plus all of your chosen workshops and breakout sessions. It will get you where you need to be without searching your email inbox for Zoom links. Our amazing Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and special sponsors will also be featured on the agenda page.

Sometimes adopting snazzy new technology creates more work for those managing things behind the scenes, however, the ever-amazing Executive Services Manager, Ann Barrett, is looking forward to Eventsquid helping us streamline the search for statistics, better manage attendees and speakers, and more easily track and notify people with outstanding payments.

Kudos to Communications Committee Chair, Kim Meinert, for navigating the set-up of Eventsquid!

Remo

Our virtual Exhibit Hall will be hosted in the networking platform Remo. You’ll have opportunity to visit a booth and chat with exhibitors almost like you would at an in-person conference (except, you know, you’ll be in front of your computer and your kids and/or pets will also have the opportunity to meet the exhibitors). The Annual Conference Committee and a few exhibitors had a chance to test out Remo recently and had a bit of fun exploring its features. Exhibitors can share videos and utilize a whiteboard. Attendees can easily pop in and out of booths and spend as much time as they want at any particular one. Rumor has it that an Exhibit Hall scavenger hunt is in the works!

You’ll be sure to see our fearless, 2021 Annual Conference Committee Chair, Carmen Novak, in the Remo virtual Exhibit Hall, as she is looking forward to networking with attendees and exhibitors.

Remo whiteboard art from Colter and Grace
Whiteboard artists and Map Gallery co-chairs, Colter Sikora and Grace White, test out the whiteboard feature in Remo.

ArcGIS Online

While we can’t (for obvious reasons) have the Esri Hands-On Learning Lab this year, we’re looking at ways to utilize ArcGIS Online at the annual conference. ArcGIS Hub will host an exhibitor gallery containing informational webpages for all of our exhibitors and links to the Remo virtual Exhibit Hall. The (virtual) Map Gallery will also most likely find a home somewhere on AGO. Stay tuned…

Charity Auctions Today

Lastly, the 2021 Annual Conference wouldn’t be complete without a silent auction to support the WLIA Foundation. The virtual silent auction will utilize Charity Auctions Today. We’re currently accepting donations to the auction. Jim Landwehr, chair of the Silent Auction Team, has details on Charity Auctions Today and details of how to donate items, here.

* upon further investigation, Eventsquid is “software that thinks like you but works like eight of you.” Methinks Eventoctopus had too many syllables…

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